QUETTA: Two key coalition partners in the Balochistan government – National Party (NP) and Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) – have nominated PkMAP senior leader Dr Kaleemullah for the position of Quetta’s mayor.
The position of mayor – for which election will be held on January 28 in the last phase of Balochistan’s local government polls – has been a bone of contention among the three coalition partners, NP, PkMAP and PML-N, as the latter claims the right to have its man on the post.
However, Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch, who also heads the ruling NP, endorsed Dr Kaleemullah’s nomination during a luncheon organised by PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai at the Officers’ Club, in Quetta.
“Dr Kaleemullah is an undisputed personality and it is hoped that he will leave no stone unturned for the development of Quetta,” Dr Malik said. “We strongly believe in devolution of powers to the grassroots level and the party will support every democratic move.”
Addressing the participants, Achakzai said his party has a majority of the elected councillors and has the democratic right to bring its mayor for Quetta. “The PkMAP will support the PML-N if it announces its candidate for deputy mayor of Quetta,” he added.
Achakzai said his party supports the coalition government but alleged that one of the coalition partners, the PML-N, wanted to break the coalition.
After giving his party’s stand on the position of mayor, Achakzai gave a detailed speech on the historical relation between ‘Baloch and Pashtun bothers’. “The Baloch and the Pashtun have centuries’ old brotherly relationship. There could be differences and complaints but all would be resolved peacefully,” he added.
The PkMAP chief said he has met Khan of Kalat Agha Suleman Dawood and separatist leader Nawabzada Hyrbyair Marri in London. However, he did not say what transpired in his meetings with the self-exiled Baloch leaders.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 26th, 2015.